The first transgender newsreader in Bangladesh broke down in tears after making her television debut, hailed as a "historic step" for the conservative nation.
Tashnuva Anan Shishir, 29, was overcome with emotion after presenting her first news bulletin, aired on the private channel Boishakhi TV.
Her debut coincided with International Women's Day, a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate women and their achievements. The occasion is a focal point in the women's rights movement, increasing awareness in regards to gender equality, reproductive rights and violence against women.
According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), Shishir has faced years of discrimination, bullying and sexual assault. She was shunned by her father and attempted suicide four times.
Transgender people continue to face severe discrimination in Bangladesh. They are often victims of violence and crime and are regularly forced into the sex trade. Gay sex is still illegal under a colonial-era law. Although enforcement is rare, those convicted can face time in prison.
Born Kamal Hossain Shishir, she knew from her early teens that she was a woman trapped in a man's body.
Now aged 29, Shishir has spoken openly about the torment she faced as a transgender person. She was estranged from her father for years and suffered "unbearable" bullying. After being shunned by her family, Shishir fled her home at 16 and lived alone in Dhaka, the capital, before relocating to Narayanganj.
While in the central city, Shishir underwent hormone therapy, acted in theatre productions and worked for charities while studying, AFP reports.
In January, she became the first transgender person to study for a Master's in Public Health at the James P Grant School of Public Health in Dhaka after receiving a scholarship.
Shishir's broadcast on Monday follows a series of steps by public and private firms to overcome Bangladesh's deep-seated prejudices against the LGBTQI+ community.
Under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government, Bangladesh officially recognised trans people as a third gender in 2013. Trans people were permitted to register to vote under a third gender five years later.
Julfikar Ali Manik, a spokesman for Boishakhi TV, said the channel was determined to give Shishir an opportunity despite the risk of backlash.
He said her television debut marked a "historic step", according to AFP.
Shishir has since revealed she was terrified and "shaking" ahead of the bulletin, but tried to draw on her theatre experience.
After her flawless delivery, Shishir was met with claps, cheers and hugs by her colleagues, reducing her to tears.
According to AFP, Shishir has reportedly been signed for two movies this year.